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Summary:

Mari Silbey has been enjoying her Slacker Portable player for six weeks or so and today she shares her impressions. I read her thoughts with interest, not just because she’s local to me, but also because the Slacker device offers a music experience that my Apple […]

Slackerportable1Mari Silbey has been enjoying her Slacker Portable player for six weeks or so and today she shares her impressions. I read her thoughts with interest, not just because she’s local to me, but also because the Slacker device offers a music experience that my Apple iPhone doesn’t. I personally like a wide variation of music, so purchasing it is a second-best option for me. For a year, I enjoyed the $15, all-you-can-eat ZunePass subscription service. Now I tend to flip between Pandora and Internet radio stations on iTunes when not listening to tunes on the iPhone.Slacker offers customizable “radio stations” online and if you buy the portable player starting at $199 for 15 stations and 2 GB of memory, your stations will automatically be downloaded to the Slacker Portable. You’ll hear ads unless you opt for a premium plan at $7.50 a month. The portable device has a beautiful screen and integrated WiFi, so you can listen to fresh music where there’s a wireless signal. I originally shied away from the Slacker because the device could only use open hotspots; reading Mari’s article, I see that the device now supports connections to protected hotspots, making it that much more appealing. That’s probably because I’m in the local Starbucks right now which, by the way, has already made the switch to AT&T for WiFi. Have to get that Starbucks card for my 2-hours of free Wifi, which would give my EV-DO modem a break!

  1. Jailbreak that iPhone and install MobileScrobbler and/or iRadio as I’ve done for more music choices. (May as well hit Fring and Twinkle, as well to expand messaging.)

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  2. Plenty of people ask me why I don’t jailbreak my phone. Valid question since I have no issue putting OSX on a UMPC or going for Ubuntu on the Eee PC. There’s one main difference: while I have multiple computers, I really only have one phone. Not that I expect any issue with the jailbreak, but I can’t really take the chance and I don’t feel like fiddling with it. I want my phone to “just work”. :)

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  3. I hear ya… I was pretty apprehensive when I did it, but the process is fairly mature at this point and using the app downloader/installer is ridiculously easy. In fact, it may be the easiest/best mobile phone app loader ever.

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  4. @kevin-i’m with you on wanting a phone that “just works”, however, the allure of having those third party apps won me over. like dave says, it really is a very painless procedure. the stability of any system is really going to depend on the skills of the programmers of apps. a poorly written app can bring down any os.

    @dave-thanks for pointing me towards mobilescrobbler. i will have to check it out. i stopped using iradio because to of its volume issues.

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  5. How is it possible that it can use protected wifi?

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  6. Hello bluespapa,

    The access to commercial hotspots, or even free ones that have click though pages or require usernames or email addresses, is possible because the latest Slacker Portable firmware release includes Devicescape. That allows it to log in for you at these types of hotspot.

    HTH,
    John…

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